xxxxXxXxXxXxxxx

And so Ends Phase One

xxxxXxXxXxXxxxx

It was unprecedented.

Never in all her life did Sakura ever guess it could happen. In her room, her cards were discussing the possible end of the world.

They were discussing this: Kero's cake remained uneaten despite the fact it was on fine china right in front of the Sun Guardian.

Who'd have thunk?

"But," said the Song card in her sing song voice, "that is unfairrrr-r-r observation. It is not the end of the world... just ill timed. Kero-sama is under great stressss-s-s-s." Her sentence ended with a slight tremble, like a nightingale crooning her mating call.

"But cake! How could he not eat the cake?" screamed the Light card. With each syllable, the light in the room became brighter and brighter.

"Hope," murmured the Hope card. "We must all have hope." Still her eyes were troubled as she looked at the clear sky beyond the bedroom window. She did not want to die either.

The Mirror card merely summoned (or reflected, what ever rocks your boat) more tears, heart broken with what happened. Whilst she cried, she planned a great and evil thing: The death of the Time Card. The bastard must pay for creating this chaos. Touya-sama was hers!

Said the Voice card – who did not know after saying it, she too became the target of the Mirror card's deadly ire -, "Tomoyo-san looked so lovely, don't you think? And did you hear her voice, Song?" She wasn't really interested with Kero not eating his cake bit or that it could mean the end of the world. The Voice card was all about voices, after all.

Song card thrilled the fact someone observed that. "Yes, yessss-s-s-s!" she said in a clear high soprano, like Tomoyo's singing voice when she was ten. "Oh, Voice, we must make her sing! It would be sooooo-o-o-o-o lovely, and I bet Touya-sama would falllll-l-l-l in love with her and ask her to marr-"

She never finished her sentence. The Mirror card had summoned deadly mirror shards and was ready to commit triple murder.

…Good thing the rest of the cards saw what was about to happen and was able to stop the slightly demented Rune. Thus, the great murdering spree never took place and the cards settled back in their dormant stage, the Voice card and the Song card on the other end of the deck, the Mirror card in between the Fire card and the Air card (elementals were pretty ruthless runes) just in case she started getting ideas.

The Time card, which was now alienated from the others for causing the mess in the first place merely shrugged and settled himself between the pages of Sakura's English text book, thank you very much.

But Cereborus still haven't eaten his cake.

And even the Hope card was starting to worry.

xxxxXxXxXxXxxxx

Tomoyo sat in a demure manner, still wearing Touya-sempai's boxers and shirt. She was doing her best not to choke on the shrimp dim sum the oldest Kinomoto brought home for dinner. This was really, really, really uncomfortable.

"Let me get this straight," whispered the handsome patriarch. His eyes were intently perusing the woman amid them, trying to tell his heart to stop beating so wildly, that this young lady was not Nadeshiko and that he would get to the bottom of this. Something just didn't feel right. Too fishy, if you asked him. If only she wasn't so damn beautiful…

"You are a distant relative of the Amamiya clan." It was a statement, not a question.

"Yes she is!" screeched Sakura, looking at her father with wild eye desperation. "She's been abroad, you see, and she has no place to stay, you see, and she is better off here than To-to-tomoyo's house –" her breath hitched at the last bit, and shame made her flush scarlet – "because- because of Amamiya-sama's obsession, you see."

Father and son bowed their head in shame at Sakura's tactlessness, while Tomoyo remained the polite child she was raised to be. On cue she beamed an understanding smile at her best friend, a silent assurance she understood what the Card Mistress was trying to say. The smile had the desired effect and then some. Sakura smiled back, Touya and Kinomoto-sama's wit went to lala land.

Kero, sitting on the table, his uneaten cake still in front of him, stayed silent, looking for the entire world to see like a stuff toy being invited to eat dinner.

Kinomoto-sama cleared his throat and raised his head. He kept his gaze averted from their 'guest' because he found he could not think straight whilst looking at the angelic vision. Like father like son. "I see," he began. "Well, it's not that I don't wish to offer you the hospitality of my home-" Thud, thud. Thud, thud. Thud, thud. "- but maybe it would be best if you ask Amamiya first? I would not like her to think I am imposing on family affairs-"

"But, Dad," interrupted one his children, "that's ridiculous. We are family, and we have every right to offer hospitality."

Three pairs of eyes settled on the face of the last speaker (Kero still remained unmoving), and Touya could feel his face heating up. "What I meant was that I see no reason why Amamiya should have any say on the matter," he defended himself. "You heard Sakura," an embarrassed looked at Tomoyo, "It'd be suicide to make her stay in the mansion."

"Yes, yes!" agreed the genki girl, though she shot a confused look at her older brother. Touya was acting most unTouya-like, all blushing cheeks and red ears. "So can she stay here, Dad? She can even sleep in my room."

Tomoyo has had enough. "Sir, it is perfectly all right if you say no. I realize I am causing so much troub-"

"IIIIEEEE-E-E-E!" Sakura started hopping from foot to foot, glaring daggers at her sweat dropping dad. "You need to stay here. Didn't your bodyguards just say you should stay here, Tom-"

One had to admire the speed that Touya showed, stuffing the uneaten cake in his sister's tattletale mouth. Horrified, Tomoyo and Kinomoto-sama watched as the girl started choking on the pastry.

Destiny thought way up on her cloud, ::What a sweet way to die…::

::She can't die yet!:: screamed horrified Love. Genki girl and hotheaded Chinese boy still have their own love story to finish!

Back on Earth, Sakura was being given the Heimlich by her big brother, who realized he may have been too zealous with his plan of shutting the auburn haired girl up. On top of the table, Ceroberus remained still as a statue, completely unmoving, and unaware of what was happening.

When things finally settled down, the four people sat down again, the youngest of them – yes, this meant Sakura – giving glares that could kill to one particular male. "Forgive me," said Kinomoto-sama, trying to smile, and still refusing to look at their guest, "But I didn't catch the name."

Ackkk-k-k-k!

Sakura started choking on her bread roll, and the Heimlich was again required to save her from the Grim's cold hands.

A few minutes passed, Tomoyo patting Sakura's back in her delicate way, and giving the two male a guilty look as if she was at fault for all that was happening. In a way, she was half right-half wrong.

It was Touya – fight man Touya – who came to the rescue. "Her name is Tokumori Azumi."

His father nodded, though a nagging voice in his head claimed he was fairly sure he heard Sakura use the letters 'T – O – M' rather than 'T – O – K' but he was also fairly certain he was not thinking straight. Looking at the still blushing girl patting his daughter's back, he took a dragging breath and made his decision: No way in hell. It was always best to nip temptation in the bud.

And the lovely girl who looked too much like his deceased wife was a temptation he was very well aware he would be incapable of fighting give or take a matter of few days.

::Okay,:: thought Love. ::Desperate time calls for desperate measure.:: So, without much ado, he sprinkled a 'very small' dose of THE WORKS on Sakura's old man. The poor entity knew repercussions would take place, for playing with love was akin to playing with fire – one always gets burned – but what was He to do? Love must prevail and He figured Kinomoto owed him a big one. Did He not once deliver him his 'one and only'? And there might not be another time for Him to set things in motion. Already too much history lay between Touya and Tomoyo.

Destiny watched with bated breath.

The red concoction was poured.

And up the pink cloud, Destiny punched Her fist up in the air. Success! Yea, gods, the drama, the suspense! She went away, giddy now with all that was happening, to go and make some popcorn and buy some licorice strings.

PINGGGGG-G-G-G went THE WORKS.

If only Kero was not in some form of trance. If only he was able to hear than damn 'ping'. If only Love and Destiny weren't insane entities in need of psychiatric help.

"Miss Tokumori, we would be honored if you would stay with us," whispered Kinomoto-sama, very shy all of a sudden. Then he looked up and smiledthat smile, one so full of charm, and boyish gorgeousness, that it was all that Touya could do not to go and put his arms around Tomoyo and say, "Mine," in a really possessive tone of voice.

But the two females took no heed of what was transpiring, both just happy to get the consent. For the heroine, it was a simple thing about honesty. She knew her mother, and was candid enough to admit it could be dangerous to sleep in any vicinity where her mother could get wind about the Nadeshiko look-alike. The welcome could either be very lovely, or very scary. Either way, why took the chance?

Sakura's reason was vague, but also somewhere along the line of maternal affections and what nots. In her heart came this thought, though it was held hidden from her mental faculties: A mother…for a few days – heck, maybe even months! – I can have a mother. And it's going to be Tomoyo! How cool is that?

Love in his pink cloud, now gnashing his teeth in frustration was screaming. ::No, no! Sakura, I need you to want Tomoyo as sister-in-law, and not as mother material!:: He resisted the urge to whack his head over and over again. Maybe making the father crush on Tomoyo was not the best plan. With tears in His eyes, he summoned some parchment and quill and wrote a plan B just in case things suddenly went wrong.

Destiny, after carefully chewing the popcorn and taking a dainty swig of some soda, because She has this notion Love might not be so considerate to do the Heimlich if She started choking, cackled like an idiot.

Tomoyo stood up from where she was seated and bow down respectfully. "Arigatou," she said in her delicate way. "I truly appreciate this, sir, and promise I won't be too much trouble for your family."

Once again the smile. "Think nothing of it," replied Kinomoto. "Weare family. That's what family does."

Once again Touya tried not to be control by the green eyed monster. The emphasis on that are was very, very, very suspicious. Instead, he said in a tight, slightly strangled voice, "Dad, maybe Tokumori is tired? She's had a busy day so it'd be best if she takes her rest." He stood up and with his right hand took one of Sakura's and the other – after a slight hesitation – took hold of Tomoyo's. "So come on you two, time for bed."

And with that, not even bothering to hear his father's reply, Touya showed the world he still have some fight left in him after all. Common sense, (and thinking in any form) along with pure basic male instinct to mark his territories, returned full force, ready for their tour of 'dooty'.

And Kero still remained unmoving, still in his lovely trance.

xxxxXxXxXxxxx

xxxxXxXxXxxxx

'…what do you mean if I know anything about the Time card?'

'Look, it's a simple question. You either know something, or you don't. So get with the program and spill!'

'Why are you asking me? Is it about Sakura?'

'…WHAT!? No, no, of course not. (Kamikamikamikamikamikami) Just curious is all. My memory is wonky, and I'd like to make sure I have all things in the right perspective…(Pleasebelievethatpleasebelievethatpleasebelievethat).'

'…'

'What? Say something!'

'I don't believe you. I'm calling Eriol-sama.'

'(OH SHI-) DON'T DO THAT! Look, Suppi, it's really nothing, just forge-'

'Of course it's nothing. That's why you suddenly have this strange urge to try and mentally talk to me – (something I didn't even know was possible) – and ask of all things about the Time Card (something must be up, something that may require my Master's intervention). And don't call me Supi.'

'It's nothing, honest! Just me getting curio-'

'Ceroberus?'

'… (mammy…)'

'Certoberus?'

'Eriol-sama…er, hello.'

'Tell me… why you are asking about the Time Card?'

xxxxXxXxXxxxx

xxxxXxXxXxxxx

And thus the mystery of the uneaten cake was finally revealed; the Hope Card was right to fear…

Destiny was not one to gripe about the tangled webs that mortals – and sometimes, because they became so freakishly powerful, even immortals - weaved. She was all about tangles. But even She must admit, adding Eriol-sama in the equation could be very dangerous indeed. And she was rooting for T.N.T. She just have this gut feeling their match would be fantastic, magical (They have zero mage gift, but still) and no doubt the love story would be explosive. So, with anguished face and frantic hand gestures, She related what might come about.

Love started hyperventilating.

Kinomoto-sama, He could deal with.

Sakura, He could deal with too.

And should Yue/Yukito be thrown into the whole messy brew, He could deal with him as well.

Eriol, reincarnation of the mage Clow Reed may be a tricky curb that require more than whatTHE WORKS could dish out.

But Destiny has a plan, a very good plan. And one that would keep the mage preoccupied long enough for Love and Destiny to see that happy ending They were after. So She started a whispering to Love, for the male's entity's magic was required for Her plan to take effect.

xxxxXxXxXxxxx

xxxxXxXxXxxxx

'(Maybe it would be best to tell him… it wasn't like we planned the thing.) Eriol-sama, you have to underst-'

'Hold on, Kero- Kaho has something to say to me.'

'…oh. Oh well, that's okay then.'

'…(I don't understand, Kaho – this decision of yours is so sudden.)

'…'

'… (No, I'm afraid I can't allow you to leave just like that Kaho. We need to talk.)

'…'

'…(I will not open the door. This choice of yours is something I'm afraid I cannot abide with –)'

'...'

'Ceroberus, forgive me but I am going to have to talk to you some other time. Say hello to Sakura for me.'

PINGGGGG-G-G-G-G! goesTHE WORKS.

'…oh- oh yes, of course, Eriol-san. Completely understandable. Uhm… well, say hello to Kaho-sensei for me then.'

'…(Kaho, be reasonable. That door is locked by magic, you cannot open it with the thin-)'

xxxxXxXxXxxxx

xxxxXxXxXxxxx

Success was sweet, for now with Eriol requiring to fix his own love life, things happening in Yoemeda was now the farthest thing from his mind. Love breathe a sigh of relief and would have wept with joy, saved He had his pride and refused to show weakness to Destiny.

He grimaced as he summoned lovelessness into the heart of Kaho, just enough to make life a living hell for Eriol, but not enough to turn him into some murdering psychopath (With his magical abilities that could be very dangerous). Love made a mental note to fix everything once this business with Touya and Tomoyo was over and done with.

But what did the female entity care what He showed or didn't show? All Her attention was directed once again on the hero and leading lady of the story, licorice string hanging from Her small, exquisite lips.

Touya let go of genki sister's hands and opened the door to her bedroom. Once that was done, he grabbed hold of said Sakura's hand again and shoved her into the safety of her boudoir, then promptly marching to his bedroom, one hand still holding to the other girl's hand.

Things must be cleared between them, if they were to live under one roof. His bedroom door was opened , then closed, then locked. Taking a deep breath, he opened his eyes, which he closed between the closing and the locking of the door and forced himself to look deeply into Tomoyo's amethyst gaze.

"Look, Daidouji, that kiss – that kiss was an accident," he began, face flushed with embarrassment. "I would never take advantage of you, it's just that-" He tried to come up with a good explanation for why he kissed the girl and not release her instantly as was only proper, but the tour of 'dooty' crew failed to give a good explanation for the kiss. So he stood there, mortified before Tomoyo, because he could not finish his sentence with a logical conclusion.

The girl was kind. "Please, there is no need to explain… I know it was an accident, and I'm sorry for causing it. Also, I think it would be best if you start calling me Tokumori, Touya-sempai," she replied, eyes wide, shining with innocence, and something else – a new maturity that whether acknowledged or not, came about because of the kiss. She knew instinctively – if not consciously - that a dance was about to begin between Touya and herself, and that it would be the man who would lead the steps, and she subtly maneuvering him to make them.

This knowledge would be intensified as she slept that night, her prone figure alongside Sakura, when she would dream of herself as a blushing bride, Touya holding her close, speaking the vows of matrimony with a smile on those smiling lips. Such would be Love's illusion for her, always keeping in mind she was only thirteen, and thus was to be given a PG 13 version of happy ever afters.

Touya could not look her in the eye. "I'm so sorry, really." Then a horrible thought. "Was it your first kiss?" If it was, he would never be able to forgive himself.

It was Tomoyo's turn to blush and be embarrassed. She bowed her head, and took great interest with the floor and how shiny it was and that it was made of mahogany wood, and that it was laid in a herringbone pattern and tha-

"Oh, no," groaned Touya, insightful as always. His right hand snaked out, and his palm cradled the side of her left cheek, making her lift her head so he could look at her expression. "Tomoyo, I am really sorry. I know how important first kisses are to a girl."

The hand on her cheek was so warm, the tone of his voice so filled with tenderness. She looked at the man with the wild black hair, the fierce eyes, and could not find a trace of sorrow in her heart that he was her first kiss. But she had to lie, for the truth was something she was sure he did not want to hear. And being the way she was, she could not have that. "Iie," she chirped, voice trying to hitch but she kept it steady, even apologetically cheerful. "It is not that, sempai. I – I already had my first kiss… and I was embarrassed to admit it." She took a deep breath and embraced the fabrication. She just could not abide the idea of disappointing someone, especially someone she cared for.

If Touya did not feel comfortable with the idea of being her first kiss, then she would dissuade him from the notion. "So there is no reason to be so remorseful."

What words to describe the sudden tightening inside Touya's heart? It felt like searing heat clamped on the organ and squeezed hard. What was this pain? He had felt it before, when Kaho whispered her goodbye, and when Yue told him Yukito was no more, but not in the great manner it manifested now.

Soft hands went up to take the young man's own from where it was still holding onto Tomoyo's left cheek. "Touya-san?" she called him, worried, very worried, for the warm hand that was holding her became cold all of a sudden. "Are you alright? You're cold."

She felt chilled, as those brown eyes gazed at her still, the fierceness in magnified for some reason. She could not understand why she felt she was being accused of a wrong doing.

He took his hand away and gave her a forced smile. "It's nothing, Daidouji." Who was your first kiss then? "You should rest. I'm sorry for dragging you here but I wanted to clear the air between us." Who was it? Was it that Eriol guy? "Tomorrow we need to figure out your full story. I'll think of something and tell it to you and Sakura before breakfast."

Who?

Who was it, Daidouji?

I think I hate you now…

She nodded timidly, unsure what he needed to hear as answer. When he opened his door without another word, she gave him a tentative smile, which he returned – But oh, he looked so sad! she thought – and nodded towards Sakura who was standing wide eye before the door of her brother's room, caught in the act of eavesdropping. The only problem was that the two had been speaking in a low tone of voice, and Sakura heard nothing – much to her disappointment.

One lingering look, a shared confusion between their gazes met, and the door was closed. Touya stood very still, trying to understand the jealousy he was feeling – 'Not her first kiss' – and trying to understand why he felt so betrayed.

It was a sad moment. But it was also a moment of clarity. But Touya, still obstinate, still under the illusion that he loved someone else, failed to see; failed to understand why there was pain.

On Their pink cloud, Destiny hung Her head. ::My bad,:: She whispered. If She had not put that twist in the young man's story… She raised teary eyes towards Love and forgave him for dropping her whilst dancing. Watching the love story unfolding gave Her a wide view of the magnitude of the emotions involved. Hearts would bleed, break, and shatter before this thing between Touya and Tomoyo reach 'the end'. ::If I had not wanted fantastic plots…::

::It is all right,::soothed Love. ::Maybe it was meant to be this way. Mortal lives, so short, so fleeting… Touya and Tomoyo are such strong individuals that an ordinary wooing would never have worked.:: He brushed the tear away from Destiny's face. :: And with Eriol out of the way (And that crazy Guardian of his) we now have free reign.::

Destiny sniffed her last sniffles, and nodded Her head. She decided right then and there that all of fate's path would be manipulated to make sure Tomoyo and Touya end up realizing who they really loved.

xxxxXxXxXxxxx

xxxxXxXxXxxxx

The two entities smiled at each other;

despite widowed father and genki sister

the love story of Touya and Tomoyo

was now to begin …

THE WORKS phase two.

(Next chapter)

xxxxXxxxx

A/N:Oooh… now the fun begins. Introduction is finally over and we enter into the full swing of the story. Many thanks to my beta for this story, sakurawolfblossom, whom despite the fact she is Eriol/Tomoyo, was still kind enough to check grammar and all that stuff I am lousy with. I'd love to hear your thoughts with the story flow and development.

Also, I am advertising that I need a Tomoyo-Shoaran beta reader, please and thank you. (To sakurawolfblossom: Luffles you to death... but I'm all about the girl with the amethyst gaze XD. I don't hate Sakura... just LOVE writing about Tomoyo so much more)